Field Identification Skills Certificates
FISCs were developed here in Shropshire by Sarah Whild of Manchester Metropolitan University and Sue Townsend of the Field Studies Council. The aim is to have a practical test for botanists, for two purposes:
- To find out roughly how good you are at botany
- To help to break down barriers towards being tested and assessed.
There is a recognised problem in ecology of misidentification of species, with some estimates that as many of 50% of all specimens in museums are mislabelled, and errors of omission result in many surveys being useless.
A FISC is a fun and not-too-daunting test that will tell you where you figure on the botanical skills pyramid. It is a good idea to take it because it makes you more aware of the difficulties of identifying plants, and you get to share the experience of identifying species. Once you have taken the test you are given feedback on the sort of tasks you are capable of and what you should do next to become a better botanist.
SEDN recommends that all botanical surveys should take a FISC if they get the opportunity to do so, and that all employers should ecourage and support their staff to take them.
>> Find out more from the BSBI web site